Sunday, 8 June 2014

Filmistaan : Movie Review


FILMISTAAN is one of those rare Hindi films that juxtaposes drama, humor and emotions seamlessly. FIMISTAAN is probably every filmy insaan’s wet dream translated on screen. This film uses humor and subtlety to convey the dynamics of India and Pakistan without switching on the mandatory preachy mode.  "Filmistaan" would have been an outrageously funny film were it not for the profoundly moving underbelly that it secretes with such fluency and spontaneity. The film could have become a gallery of cliches about Indo-Pak harmony. A sort of Veer-Zara turned into Veeru & Zara-uddin who become friends in Pakistani soil while guns boom all around them.While Ghandhiji has been long hailed as the father of the nation, it is CineMaa that is the undisputed mother of not only India but also its neighbouring Pakistan.The much revered CineMaa blesses her devotees with business on both sides of the border, serving as a common thread between the protagonists -- Sunny (Sharib Hashmi) and Aftab (Inaamulhaq) -- in Nitin Kakkar's Filmistaan. Probably I am someone who eats, sleeps, dreams and talks cinema and hence Kakkar’s vocabulary made perfect sense to me. Employing crisp humour, often using famous dialogues from Hindi films, the film stresses on the shared culture (including the sanskaars given by Cine Maa) to remind us how easy it is to get along with our neighbours when we look at them as human beings.

SCRIPT & SCREENPLAY                                   ::               The story as well as the screenplay has been penned down by Ntin Kakkar who has done a fabulous job. The story is novel yet not an unthinkable or out of the world product. Nitin Kakkar deserves a salute for seamlessly binding heavy topics of infiltration, cross border terrorism, the ideals of right wing Islamists and yet the prevailing love for Bollywood. Anything dealing with the hostility of India and Pakistan gets sucked in by gloom but Kakkar manages to maintain his film consistently light hearted. This too like Queen isn’t much about the script, as it is about the moments. There is a lightness of being in the narrative which is well nuanced and still the film emerges as thrilling.  And if I understand the psyche of India well, Kakkar has managed to tell a story that will have many keen takers simply because the story is beautiful sans the sermonizing.The story of the movie is about a Bollywood buff and wannabe-actor Sunny [Sharib Hashmi] who goes with an American film crew to the remote areas of Rajasthan to work on a documentary film. One night, late after shoot, a terrorist group kidnaps him and takes him to Pakistan. When the leader of the terrorist group meets Sunny, he realizes that the inept terrorists have mistakenly kidnapped an Indian and taken him prisoner, instead of an American crew-member. With little choice, the terrorists decide to keep him hostage until they locate their original target. Sunny finds himself hostage in enemy land, amidst guns and terrorists. The house Sunny is confined to belongs to Aftaab [Inaamulhaq], a Pakistani, who pirates Hindi films but, like Sunny, loves Indian films and the two of them bond over the pirated Bollywood films that play in the village. Soon, they become close friends and Aftaab promises to help Sunny escape and cross the border from Pakistan back into Rajasthan, India. Filmistaan stands on the foundation of a solid plot and is beautifully built up with well developed characters. The story is refreshingly simple and yet manages to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.

STARCAST                                                          ::                Another aspect that works wonders in favor of this movie is its casting. Sharib Hashmi dons the endearing role with a dazzling brilliance. The guy enacts every filmy keedas, keedapanti with sheer earnestness. In the scene, where he humors the children of village by showing the varied style of Bollywood actors shooting a gun to the next scene where he lies hurt and helpless are two diametrically opposite scenes place one after the other. It is hard to miss that the man redefines versatility and does so without airs. Bollywood has found a fresh and gusty actor finally! If Hashmi is brilliant, Innamulhaq matches up his caliber with a noteworthy flair. He is fantastic and the camaraderie with Hashmi is extraordinary. If Hashmi’s work is the pivot, Innam is just the icing on the cake. Kumud Mishra is translucent in his role which is written with virtuoso. Kumud Mishra revels in his solidly-written role and delivers a pitch-perfect, dynamic performance as the terrorist. Gopal Datt is another actor to watch out for. He's absolutely believable as Kumud's subordinate. Waseem Khan, portraying the part of Inaamulhaq's father, gets his part spot-on. Habib Azmi is first-rate as the haqim sahab. Sanjay Mehta, the leader of the extremist group, is appropriate. Tushar Jha, as Aftaab's younger brother, is okay. Manoj Bakshi, as the Indian cop, is efficient and has played his character with aplomb.

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                      ::              The soundtrack of the movie has been composed by Arijit Datta who uses soothing melodies to play alongside the warm story.  The use of mild music builds the gentle ambiance in a film that smartly gives a somber tone a miss.  Dialogues, penned by Sharib Hashmi, are well-worded and most appropriate. A special mention for Subhransu Das who has done a fine job at cinematography and has captured the locations beautifully. The film is shot in authentic locations by cinematographer Subhransu Das who brings to the table an enticing aaura of believability. The movie has been edited by Sachindra Vats who has done a fine job. Sachindra Vats edits the scenes down to the minimum when required. But generally he lets the charactes develop naturally even if the process takes some time. As a director, Nitin Kakkar has given audience a crackling movie to the core that doesn’t give you one dull moment in its lambent tapestry. This quirky charmer from first-time director Nitin is fresh in vision and enchanting in execution as it is Nitin’s ingenious thinking that makes the film winsome. He has made a a riveting film that will delight you with its innocence. 

CONCLUSION                                                       ::            I have never ever given stars to any movie but this movie made at a shoestring budget by fringe talent, is a sheer delight to watch & the movie owes five out of five stars. It is a must watch movie for every Bollywood fan & I am quite sure you'll not be disappointed after watching this as this is one of the best movie I have seen in recent times. 

ROHIT SHARMA.
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